As “Suicide Squad” heads into its second weekend at the box office, the conversation is mostly about the movie that could’ve been, rather than the noisy mess that we got. As we now know, following the negative response to “Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice,” Warner Bros. tried to turn the ship around on “Suicide Squad,” leading to reshoots and the studio becoming heavily involved in the final cut (which director David Ayer stands by). And with so much meddling with the movie, it was inevitable that a lot of material was jettisoned, and according to Ayer, there were quite a few cuts of the movie.
“There’s a linear version we did where it opens up with June in the cave and tells the story in sequence with the arrests and Batman, and then we go to Belle Reve. Honestly, there may be six or seven different versions of the film,” he told Empire. “In that version, [test] audiences were left with a lot of questions and a little disoriented as to who to watch and why. So we came up with what we call the ‘dossier’ version which has Amanda presenting the backstories and origins of the various members.”
Having Amanda Waller introduce all the members of the Suicide Squad may be more direct, but it adds to the overall effect of the movie, at least in the first hour, feeling a bit stuck as it slowly gets the story going.
Meanwhile, more controversy of sorts sprouted up around the movie this week when rappers Die Antwoord accused Ayer of ripping them off as he styled Joker and Harley Quinn. And while Ayer is yet to comment on that directly, he does explain where Joker got that terrible “Damaged” tattoo and what’s up with his teeth.
“This is sort of my personal thing and maybe less about a larger connection. But Joker killed Robin and Batman basically smashes his teeth out and locks him up in Arkham Asylum. It’s in the asylum where Joker would have done the ‘damaged’ tattoo as a message to Batman saying, ‘You’ve damaged me. I was so beautiful before and now you’ve destroyed my face.’ That’s where the grill comes from,” the director explained.
Okay, interesting explanation I guess, but the messy narrative has still left many confused, with fans saying that the timeline doesn’t match up. Maybe it was clearer in one of the other versions of the movie.
Would a linear version of “Suicide Squad” have played better? Do you dig the reason behind Joker’s look? Let us know in the comments section, and listen to Empire’s full talk with Ayer below.